Nation’s biggest ranked-choice voting test nearing a result

June 19, 2018 GMT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The nation’s biggest test of ranked-choice voting neared a result but there won’t be an announcement of winners in two Democratic primaries until Wednesday, officials said.

Maine election officials scrambled to retrieve ballots from a handful of towns because the scanned sheets were illegible and spent most of the day verifying results from hundreds of communities before ranked-choice tabulations can take place.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the tabulations will happen on Wednesday, the secretary of state’s office said.

Under ranked-choice elections, voters rank candidates from first to last on the ballot, and a candidate who collects a majority of the vote wins. If there’s no majority, then losing candidates are eliminated and votes reallocated in additional rounds of tabulations.

The system will be used in a gubernatorial race featuring seven Democratic candidates, none of whom received a majority. It’ll also be used in the Democratic primary in the 2nd Congressional District unless it’s determined that Jared Golden eked out a majority in the first round.

Republicans, meanwhile, rallied outside the Statehouse on Tuesday to support their candidate for governor, Shawn Moody, who won with a majority in his race, making additional tabulations unnecessary.

Moody, who ran for governor as an independent in 2010, was flanked by the three Republicans he defeated.

Regardless of his opponent, Moody said he felt confident that he’ll win if the “people who do the work” show up and vote during the November general election.

“The people that do the work are tired of the people who don’t do the work telling us” how to run things, he told a group outside the Statehouse.

Maine voters have green-lighted ranked-choice voting for U.S. Senate and House races in November, but it won’t be used in the governor’s race because of state constitutional concerns.